Importing an FBX Camera into HitFilm Pro

laconstantedeplanck
laconstantedeplanck Posts: 111 Enthusiast
edited May 25 in HitFilm

Hello there!

I have exported a 3D camera in Unreal Engine as an FBX camera but, when imported into HitFilm Pro (either creating a composite shot, then adding a camera, then right click -> import FBX camera or just from the import media menu, I've tried both), it seems no keyframes are being created and as a result the camera doesn't move.

I also opened the Unreal camera in Blender and it seems to be working fine. I tried importing the Unreal camera in Blender, then exporting the camera from Blender as an FBX file but the end result is the same. I've tried different export configurations in Unreal Engine but all exported cameras behave the same.

I have read the user guide looking for a compatibility list (as FBX format is not consistent across different programs) but only found that FBX camera import/export is supported:

Has anyone tried importing 3D camera into HitFilm?

I'm tagging the Unreal master @JavertValbarr 😊

Answers

  • laconstantedeplanck
    laconstantedeplanck Posts: 111 Enthusiast

    I'm adding tech details:

    Windows 10 Pro / i7-12700F / 32 GB / RTX 3060 Ti / 2TB NVMe

    HitFilm Pro 2021.3 (patch)

    Unreal Engine 4.26.2 (will try on Unreal Engine 5)

    Blender 2.90

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,292 Power User

    Frank Salinas has custom coded a version of Blender specifically for Blender to Hitfilm workflow which I think you can get at owmycgi.net. He's also done a bunch of Enhancements in general. His build, for example, renders much faster than stock Blender. His build has a whole panel of Hitfilm tools. He charges $50 for it, but it's worth the money.

    Otherwise I think Blender can export an FBX camera as a .ma camera. I've always had better luck with .ma than FBX

  • Andersen01498
    Andersen01498 Posts: 1,196 Enthusiast

    Unless FX home changes something in the future in regards to software Frank's software might not even work anymore? Is that a possibility @Triem23 Of course, this is all hypothetical since no one knows what the future of FX home looks like?

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,292 Power User

    @Andersen01498 I checked his site after my last post and it's listed as being still in active development - and thank Frank is having continuing health issues, unfortunately.

    I don't think there have been any changes to Hitfilm that would break Frank's exporters, and two of the things Frank made it a point for his exporter to do was correct for Y/Z axes - which are reversed relative to each other between Blender and Hitfilm, and correct for Gimbal Lock in Hitfilm's Euler rotation.

  • JavertValbarr
    JavertValbarr Staff Posts: 374 Staff

    Hmm, I wasn't notified that I was tagged in this.

    I'm not too familar with how FBX's actually work, as I was only first exposed to them when this feature was being developed.

    I do know that there might be an issue with the conversion from Unreal units (cm) to HitFilm's (pixel units), so if you could send this to Support it might help us narrow it down.

  • Andersen01498
    Andersen01498 Posts: 1,196 Enthusiast

    HF needs to be changed to real-world units......its kinda ridiculous that HF is one of the only software that uses pixel units. Photoshop uses pixel units however you can switch it to real world units.....@JavertValbarr Please pass that along to the

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,292 Power User
    edited May 28

    @Andersen01498 @JavertValbarr

    At some point I did figure out how many pixels are in a meter in Hitfilm - and it IS consistent (I checked across 720, 1080, 1440 and 2160p).

    Unfortunately, it was part of a bug report I did relating to 3D model scaling on a contract testing gig for FXhome and when the contract ended I deleted my copies of my reports as to not risk possession of proprietary information. I have no idea if FXhome still has my reports. @AxelWilkinson might still have it since I sent him a copy, thinking he might find it interesting. Javert, if anyone can find that it might prove helpful to the devs.

    Javert, it's Fall 2020 and the report would be titled something like "3D model scaling." Ask QA if they still have those.

    Andersen the ultimate finding of the report is some of the model formats Hitfilm imports don't support scale data properly. I can say that because anyone attempting to import a cube built at 1 meter in every format would find some come in wrong, and that's due to the model format, not Hitfilm (you'd get the same errors loading the same models into Blender). Beyond that, I won't expound further to avoid stepping past the limits of my NDA.

    Key takeaway here is Hitfilm's pixel units are absolute measures that do scale to a real world value. I don't remember the exact number, but it's "two hundred something pixels equals one meter."

    Javert, if anything in this post steps over my NDA, delete this comment and let me know via DM so I don't discuss it again, but I think I'm OK here.

  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,255 Staff

    I do still have the records from the testing you mention, @Triem23 , and it says...

    "Incidentally, the “master scale” of HitFilm is 352 pixels/meter."

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,292 Power User
  • laconstantedeplanck
    laconstantedeplanck Posts: 111 Enthusiast

    Good news!! It seems the latest HitFilm update (2022.2) might be fixing the problem:

    I haven't tested the actual tracking, but at least keyframes are shown and the camera moves. So, that's some good progress!!!

    Beware keyframes are being created on a negative time scale, so you'll need to drag them forward:

    It seems there's been some fixes on this issue on the last update as the changelog suggests:

    Thank you FXHome :) Having the camera exported from Unreal to HitFilm eases the process of adding chroma layers in HitFilm without needing to re-track the footage.